By ED POLLI
Times Leader Staff Writer
THE CHRISTMAS Tree on the Belmont County Courthouse Plaza will be lit at 6 p.m. today, signaling the beginning of the Christmas season.
The holidays have begun and the courthouse and street was decorated Monday with
festive cheer. Virgil Markovich donated the
courthouse Christmas Tree this year. The
tree will be lit tonight at 6.
T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK
Immediately following the ceremony, the Horizon Telcom St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce Holidays on The Hilltop Christmas Parade will begin.
Mrs. Santa Claus will arrive from the North Pole and will give the address of welcome at the lighting ceremony. The Rev. Homer Harden of the First Presbyterian Church will have the invocation.
Musical performances will then be presented by the Pied Piper Nursery School under the direction of Audrey Mellott, and the East Richland Christian School's first through fourth grades, under the direction of Jane Powell. There will also be a scripture reading and the singing of "O Holy Night."
Mrs. Claus will then pull the switch to light the tree, and those attending will be asked to help count down to light the tree. Everyone is invited to have hot chocolate and cookies in front of the chamber office, courtesy of Thoburn United Methodist Church.
This year, the Christmas Tree was donated by the Virgil Markovich family, residents of Iona Drive. It was decorated by the employees of the city light and power department, including Don Smithberger, superintendent, and Mike Chase, Gary Pempek, Gary Zavatsky and Dustin Kolanski.
Special recognition was accorded to those who contributed to the success of the tree lighting event. They include BG Audio, Rouse Video, Thoburn United Methodist Church, Joe Shutek, Santa's helper, and Charlene Moffo, who was Mrs. Claus.